Much ado about oil

While looking at mainstream media news sites today, an item in The New York Times caught quickly caught my attention. Maybe it caught your attention, too. Here is the headline: “Obama to Set Goal of One-Third Cut in Oil Imports.”

By ·

While looking at mainstream media news sites today, an item in The New York Times caught quickly caught my attention.

Maybe it caught your attention, too. Here is the headline:
“Obama to Set Goal of One-Third Cut in Oil Imports.”

Given the current situation, with oil barrel prices hovering around $100 and diesel approaching $4 per gallon, that headline, again, is really an attention-grabber as far as I can tell.

In short, the article explains how in a speech Obama will be giving at Georgetown University, he will discuss how the “United States needs, for geopolitical and economic reasons, to reduce its reliance on imported oil,” with more than half of the oil burned in the country today coming from overseas and Mexico and Canada.

It also notes, as Newsroom Notes has also pointed out, that when prices go up, we all panic, and when they go down, we resume our previous habits.

Of course, there is more to it than that. This current run up in prices, coupled with carriers focused on yield improvement i.e higher rates, does not help shippers run cost-efficient supply chains. But those are the cards currently being dealt at the table.

And as LM has reported in its coverage of weekly diesel prices, shippers are clearly concerned about the pace of these increases, as they are largely on the hook for them, financially-speaking, with fuel surcharges passed along to them by carriers on top of freight rates. Should prices continue to head north, it could likely limit future growth as well increase the cost of doing business, as it likely it already.

OK-that is a “been there, done that” thing, but it does not make things any easier for anyone either.

In recent weeks, there has been talk of the White House opening up the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to alleviate pain at the pump for shippers, carriers, and consumers alike. And there has been a buzz of late about natural gas and how that could off-set our expenses and reliance on fossil fuels. There also are many companies making tremendous progress on alternative fuel vehicles for freight operations, too.

These things are very promising and could make a legitimate difference down the road. But with no defined deadline in site for when they could be fully applicable and depended on, it is the same old story for now—a story that is getting tired and repetitive.

Oh, yeah, there is also that little issue of zero meaningful forward progress on energy legislation in our country. Given the divided political party lines that are the new normal in the U.S., that is hardly surprising.

It seems like Obama’s speech will bring to light the things that need and should be done for the most part. The hard part is actually getting there.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Diesel Prices · Gas · Oil · Trucking · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Lead your organization through the driver shortage and over-the-road regulations.
Potential transportation disruptions are looming as increased over-the-road regulations are set to go into effect in 2017. Experts believe these regulations will further impact the already challenged driver pool as well as reduce driver productivity.
Download Today!
From the January 2017 Issue
Following LM tradition, we start off the New Year with our annual “Rate Outlook” cover story and subsequent Webcast
Moore on Pricing: The other TMS functional options
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
Join our panel of top oil and transportation analysts for an exclusive look at where rates are headed and the issues driving those rate increases over the coming year.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...

Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....